Distracted Driving Laws Changing Jan. 1, 2019

Do you still text and drive? Or how about pick up your phone to read a message, dial to make a call home or enter a new destination on your GPS? Despite already stiff fines and penalties, collisions and deaths on the road due to distracted driving continue to increase. More is needed to be done to combat distracted driving.

On January 1, 2019, existing fines and penalties for distracted driving will increase in Ontario with a goal of reducing incidents.

*Below is a summary of the new fines and penalties for drivers with A to G licences staring January 1, 2019:

For your first conviction:
• a fine of up to $1,000
• three demerit points
• a three-day day driver’s licence suspension

For your second conviction within 5 years:
• a fine of up to $2,000
• six demerit points
• a seven-day driver’s licence suspension

For your third and all subsequent convictions within 5 years:
• a fine of up to $3,000
• six demerit points
• a 30-day driver’s licence suspension

Novice drivers, or those that hold a G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence, and are convicted of distracted driving will face the same escalating fines as drivers with A to G licences, but they will not receive any demerit points*.

Instead of demerit points they will face:
• 30-day licence suspension for a first conviction
• 90-day licence suspension for a second conviction
• Cancellation of your licence and removal from the Graduated Licensing System for a third conviction

For more information on penalties and distracted driving laws, visit http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/distracted-driving-faq.shtml

Unfortunately, we need further increases in fines to hopefully curb distracted driving. Let’s all do our part and spread the message that distracted driving is as unacceptable as drinking and driving in society. Drive safe out there.

*Information is from the MTO site: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/distracted-driving-faq.shtml

Leave Comment